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Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 09-06-2015, 12:20 PM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
I like the video! Good editing, cutaway shots, etc.

I found the focus hunting to be distracting in a few spots. No doubt this is largely related to my own experience with the GH4 - once you see it, it is something of an illness that you look for it, whether you want to or not. Anyhow, this might not be so much of a problem for your client, if they are not looking for it.

Here are a couple of tips from my GH4 setup. The G6 supported at least some of these settings so I'm guessing these might be helpful to you on the G7 as well.

-- The rotary switch on the back for "MF/AFC/AFM/AFS": In video mode, there is no difference between AFC and AFM/AFS. Both positions do the same thing, where continuous autofocus is governed only by the menu. Turn that off. Then, turn on Touch Pad AF. This works like AFS, and allows you to control when the camera autofocuses, and on what. Generally I don't care too much for touch screens but Panasonic's Touch Pad AF is really, really helpful. (This might be similar to the focus pulling feature you described earlier, that is very cool.)

-- Continuous AF does have its uses. If you have a spare custom setting available, set up your own "green mode" using continuous AF. Also, set shutter-priority (at 180 degrees for your frame rate of course), and let the camera take care of the aperture and ISO. This is my run-and-gun setting, and came in handy when I handed my camera to my wife while on vacation. I don't use it much, but sometimes you just need a basic camcorder.

-- All that said, most of the time, you will probably want to use MF. If you are a Pentax shooter, you probably want to go into the menu and change the direction of the autofocus rotation from the default orientation, so as to match the Pentax orientation. Fortunately, the zoom rotation on Panasonic lenses is already correct. ;) If you have mostly Canon lenses, then you probably don't want to do this, and you probably don't agree that the zoom orientation is correct either. :p

-- Note that the Touch Pad AF only works when the switch is in one of the aforementioned AF positions. And when in MF mode, you can't leverage the "AF lock" button to refocus in the middle of the shot. So it's either one or the other: You can use Touch Pad AF to pull focus, or you can pull focus manually, but you can't mix them during the same shot without flicking the switch with your thumb. That introduces a bit of shake. At least we have the option.

-- Sadly, the GH4 does not allow you to do focus magnification while you are actually recording video. So to manually focus during a shot, you will need to rely on the focus peaking. Fortunately, the GH4 has a great monochrome setting for the LCD and viewfinder, which makes the focus peaking much easier to see. If you can, you might want to set up a custom button to turn on/off monochrome display, instead of menu diving. Sometimes it helps to see color (i.e, tracking moving subjects in a crowd from a distance), so having it on a button helps. You can switch this in the middle of a shot too. The GH4 has a firmware bug where the monochrome view sometimes reverts back to color, which is another reason I have it on a button.

-- For what it is worth, the 12-35 f/2.8 and 35-100 f/2.8 supposedly have very smooth focus and zoom rings, and are close to parfocal, compared to the other Panasonic offerings. The only native Panasonic lens I have at the moment is the 14-140, which is not fantastic in terms of mechanical feel, but good enough for my needs. As far as versatility and image quality, I consider it to be the spiritual equivalent to Pentax' 18-135.

-- The shutter, aperture, and ISO are all stepped, but if you If you use the on-screen controls for aperture, it will smoothly change the aperture during a shot. Something to keep in mind because sometimes you just need to change the exposure. Not sure why it doesn't work when you rotate the aperture dial as opposed to the the on-screen control, or if I'm just remembering incorrectly and it works just as smoothly from the dial as well. It would be better to have a lens with a stepless aperture ring, but none of the Panasonic lenses do. I sometimes use my Pentax lenses with a Fotodiox adapter with an mechanical aperture coupler which works well.

-- The histogram is only meaningful in manual mode. In other modes, it works like Pentax' K-01 implementation -- i.e., it automatically adjusts based on the brightness of the LCD display, therefore not as helpful as it could be. But in manual mode it its does what it should.

Hope this helps!
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-21-2015, 04:40 PM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
Likewise, brother. We're all good.

The common thread here is that we are all heavily invested in Pentax and frustrated about the video limitations. For various reasons, I gave up waiting, and found another solution. But I don't really want to grow another lens collection, and adapting my K-mount lenses has other limitations. So I'd still like for Pentax to improve things.



Congrats on the growing clientele. It might not be your primary job, but if you are making some income from it, and are starting to offset some of your equipment expenses, well, then, you are a professional!
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-21-2015, 09:51 AM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
I shoot a GH4 for video because it suits my needs. But other people's needs may be different. It is wrong to carte blanche rule out dedicated professional video cameras for ENG work, like the XA20, which can cost less than a DSLR setup with a lens, and provides useful features. Or even the G30, which is much cheaper and still carries many of the same critical features.

I don't see any contradiction in my statements, and stand by them. I think you have misquoted my position regarding videocameras, and DSLRs and should do the right thing.



Sorry if you had a bad experience, but it didn't come from me. I don't keep score but I seem to recall your posts have historically been quite reasonable and informative. If you can point to some time where I denigrated one of your posts or otherwise offended you, I apologize. But there is no need for name calling. (Stick in the mud? Seriously?)
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-21-2015, 06:48 AM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
Maybe I should have added sarc tags to my comment regarding audio? Anyhow ....



I just had a chance to watch your video. (Didn't want to view it at work that day, then forgot when I got home.) I think it looks quite nice. I really think the mix of locked-down shots and handheld works well. The initial establishing shots being stationary helped. Although the K500 and GoPro footage doesn't intercut very well, you will find it much easier to intercut the G7 footage with the GP.

One thing, you broke the 4th wall at 0:19-0:21 with your reflection in the bus. That is okay for some work but not so great for a music video.

I also watched your E46 video, I really liked that a lot. The focus pulls from 0:09 to 0:19 had a lot of breathing. It wasn't so obvious from 0:00 to 0:09. So I would either reframe the shots so the focus breathing was not so obvious, limit the range of the pull, or use a slider move. A manual focus lens would give you a smoother pull as well. But overall, I liked that a lot. The cooler color cast suited the mood.

Good luck with the G7. Not sure of the base ISO on the G7, but on the GH4 it is ISO 200. You will probably want to pick up a good 2- or 3-stop ND filter, because in bright daylight, you will find that you need to stop down to at least f/22 or get the exposure in check.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-20-2015, 07:50 PM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
I have a GH4 myself, and as I said earlier, I can recommend it for many users. But it depends on what you want to do. To say it is the only right choice for someone, who later stated they are doing event-type work, is a blind disservice.


I've heard people say this too, but not on this thread. I only use my GH4 for video (precisely because it is not a very good stills camera).


Again I'm not sure who you are referring to. That seems like a very black-and-white statement. Kind of like blurting out that a DSLR is the only right choice for someone, regardless of what you want to do.


That's an interesting comment from someone who has not actually posted any information to this thread, regarding important video features, or videography.

---------- Post added 08-20-15 at 11:23 PM ----------



Correct.



Also correct, but I'm not sure that was ever in question.


Excellent, we are in agreement, a solid 3 out of 3!


Now, let's see if you agree with these statements:

- Video is a lot more than about image quality. (Some "pros" actually have the audacity to claim that sound is more important than video, if you can believe that -- Do you?)

- Because of electronic shutters used in video vs. mechanical shutters (when used) for stills, rolling shutter for a moving object (or moving camera) may be more noticeable in video than it is in still images. And, larger sensors have more rolling shutter than smaller sensors.

- Like photography, your subject must always be in focus. Getting a moving subject in a moving scene in focus is more challenging in video than in photography. Because they are moving. No amount of post can fix an out-of-focus shot.

- Shutter angle should remain at or close to 180 degrees, so that leaves gain, iris, and ND filters. Practically speaking, this means that adjusting exposure dynamically during a scene can only be done using a de-clicked iris, except on cameras that have continuously variable gain.

- This is just a smattering of issues facing the videographer. Since PF is a mostly photograpy-centric forum that might explain why nobody has identified these issues, and we're on page 6 of the thread. (You can agree or disagree with this item too.)

My apologies to anyone who feels it is unpleasant to discuss video features on the forum. It might be related to the fact we all shoot Pentax.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-20-2015, 03:40 PM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
Sorry that's not what I meant. We are in agreement that the DSLR grip is certainly better than the horizontal handle and strap that is used on today's downsized video cameras. That is a vestige of the larger shoulder mounted cameras, where a grip (on a handle which was separate from the body) made sense. Incidentally, that kind of grip still makes sense today, on today's shoulder mounted cameras like the AG-AC8 or FS-7. It also makes sense on cameras which support a rotating hand grip like the XF200.

What I meant was that choosing a DSLR-type camera (regardless of the handle form factor) for video use is very much about cheapness. Okay, let me say it in a more positive way, that "using a DSLR camera for video use is about affordable compromises". Sony and Panasonic have professional video products which are more capable for video than their still cameras. That is not my opinion, that is a fact.

Now if the professional bodies like the FS7 are too expensive, one must make a choice amongst the cheaper alternatives, be it a DSLR or an ENG camera. One should choose carefully, understanding the intended application and nature of the paid work, and accepting the limitations of the chosen path. They all have limitations.

---------- Post added 08-20-15 at 06:56 PM ----------



Getting there, but there is a lot of room for refinement.

I seem to recall someone stating that AMC's The Walking Dead is shot entirely on S16 cameras. Not sure if that is correct, but the cinematography looks pretty good to me.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-20-2015, 05:54 AM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
I agree that lens interchangeability is a good thing, but for the type of event videography the OP is getting paid to do, having a parfocal zoom lens is probably more important than a set of primes, whether interchangeable or not.

The DSLR form factor is, in fact, the red herring, and is about cheapness. There is nothing a DSLR bodied camera can do better than a proper interchangeable lens video body. If those are too expensive for paid professional work, then the shooter has to weight the tradeoffs between the cheaper alternatives. Some folks believe that an S16 is the minimum that is needed for legitimacy, but that ignores the existing body of commercial work.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-19-2015, 02:48 PM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
Don't get me wrong, the GH4 is awesome for video. If the G7 is anything like the GH4 (and by all accounts it seems like it is at least as good) you will love it for the quality of the video it produces.

Although the GH4 was marketed as a dual-purpose camera, the use cases for video and stills are very different. At the next event where I have to shoot both stills and video, I will carry two bodies: The K3 for stills, and the GH4 for video. After all, for many of my past events where I only shot stills, I often carried two bodies, and I am just an amateur photographer. There are even more reasons to carry two bodies when shooting both stills and video. In addition to the different exposure/focus settings, all the peripheral gear is also different. For example, many events are dark and you instantly will need a flash on your stills camera, and an LED video light for video, in addition to your audio/mic. One takes a ballhead, the other takes a monopod with a fluid head. On and on. (Not saying that you personally have to carry two bodies; it depends on what you are doing.)

Also, you will find that the way you compose your shots and move around the room is different.

My main point is, the fact that some stills cameras can take video, is a red herring. The experience of shooting stills and video is different. The important thing is to use the best tool for the job, and that might or might not be a large-sensor camera.

Good luck! I wish there were a Panasonic forum as good as Pentax Forums, let me know if you find one.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-19-2015, 08:25 AM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
Well I haven't left Pentax. For stills shooting, my K5 and K3 completely trounces the GH4.

Panasonic can make some improvements if they really want to support both still and video shooters. For example, the GH4 has a "manual stills" and "manual video" on the mode dial, which looks nice at first. However, some of the basic settings cross over between modes, which you wouldn't realize until you start actually using the camera. Who uses the same shutter speed for video and stills? This is a super easy fix, nothing to do with hardware. Considering they have gone through many firmware updates already, and the next Vlog update might be a paid upgrade, I don't see it happening.

And why can't Sony or Panasonic make autofocus lenses that have real (mechanical, or at least linear) focus rings?

Nobody's perfect.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 08-12-2015, 05:00 PM  
What to do ( video)
Posted By Tanzer
Replies: 95
Views: 8,389
You've provided a bit of new information in your post above. At the risk of offending the large sensor enthusiasts, I will suggest that you should also consider a video camera with native XLR audio inputs, a smaller sensor for greater depth of field for easier focusing, and less rolling shutter which is a problem for most of the larger sensor cameras.

There is a reason that dedicated video cameras have built in XLR. Dedicated controls for zoom, focus, and iris. Built-in ND filters. Real dedicated buttons to pull up histograms and focus peaking. And a button to switch between monochrome and color display in the viewfinder.

By the way, I have a Panasonic GH4 and it is a great creative tool. It is extremely capable and I can recommend it to just about anyone. But if I were being paid for event videography, I would probably stick to a video camera. Still cameras are improving, but have a way to go for ENG work. Actually, I think still cameras will never get there, since that is not really their intended use, and there will always be a need for ENG cameras.

Some options: XA-20, HF-G30, HC-X920, HC-X1000, AF-100a, AG-AC90/130, PXW-X70, many others. (These are NTSC model designations, don't know the PAL equivalents off the top of my head.)

How about a visit to Tubeshooter for some additional practical suggestions? He's got a great YouTube channel too, just sit back and enjoy.
Tube Shooter - The website magazine for people shooting video for the Internet
https://www.youtube.com/user/TubeShooterMag
https://www.youtube.com/user/UKAirscape
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